The Middle Eastern dish “hummus” has become a popular food trend -- most grocery stores sell this refrigerated spread in a variety of flavors.
Hummus is made of a combination of chickpeas, garlic and tahini.
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are members of the legume family and are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. They are available in dry, canned and frozen forms.
In addition to being used to make hummus, chickpeas can be added to salads for an additional source of fiber and protein. They are also great in soups or dips. The USDA recommends consumption of beans and peas (including chickpeas) for everyone due to their rich nutrient content.
Health benefits of chickpeas:
Fiber: chickpeas contain both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. This keeps your digestive tract regular, and helps control appetite by making you feel full longer.
Protein: Chickpeas are a good source of plant protein, especially for vegetarians. Pair these beans with whole grain to provide a protein source equivalent to meat and dairy. Additionally, chickpeas don’t have the saturated fat most meat products have. ½ cup cooked has 5 grams protein.
Other nutrients: Chickpeas are also a good source of vitamin B6, C, zinc and Iron.
2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
¼ cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch paprika
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1. Place garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt in food processor or blender.
2. Blend until smooth. Add several drops of water if mixture is too thick.
3. Transfer to serving bowl.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the bean mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley
5. Serve with pita or an assortment of fresh veggies
Makes 2 cups.
Ashlee Lamar is a registered dietitian at Providence Medical Center.